Using Wire Baskets and Hangers to Decorate for Halloween

By: Wendy Waxman
Related To:

There has always been something deliciously spooky about wire baskets. Even the quaintest Victorian type conjures up memories of my Connecticut childhood when small groups of us ventured out on Halloween, letting the owls guide our way down seemingly endless and dark winding drives to the trick-or-treat prize.

Now I love placing something orange (but not too bright) or a dulled red fruit in a wire basket as a nod to the Halloween palette. Something with an irregular shape, a root vegetable perhaps, also looks great in a black wire basket, especially when it’s sticking out through the wire.

I’ve seen black wire baskets in stores and on many websites this season, and am quite fond of the vintage pieces from any century or style: Victorian, art deco, midcentury or shabby chic. Any of these will do.

Since they have a common denominator of black wire, the styles mix well. With their various shapes and sizes, they create a wonderful focal point, either in a row or clumped together on a coffee table, or by the entrance or front steps, where trick-or-treaters or party guests will be sure to spot them.

I like to put my wire baskets on a black tray to give them a spooky base. And if you have any metal or wire baskets that are rusty, they make for an even creepier presentation. Black trays also look smashing on New Year’s Eve, topped with a touch of glitz and confetti, so this is a sage holiday investment for the whole season.

You may know by now that I’m not a DIY type of designer, but I’ve always loved playing with those broken black wire hangers from the cleaners (you probably have some in the back of your closet) to add drama to Halloween. They are easy to bend or twist into any structural shape using wire cutters from the hardware store. Remember, if you want to hang your creation, just refrain from clipping off the top of the hanger.

Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of  30 Minute Meals , Secrets of a Restaurant Chef , Cooking for Real and Ten Dollar Dinners . Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Best 5 Halloween Treats

Check out Food Network's top-five spooktacular Halloween treats from The Pioneer Woman, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and more chefs.

Special Guest Judges Scare on a New Season of Halloween Wars

Halloween Wars returns for Season 4 with all-new episodes starting Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9|8c. Read on for a list of special guest judges.

A Pizza That Looks and Tastes Like a Pumpkin

See how Jeff Mauro creates a too-cute pizza that both looks and tastes like a pumpkin.

Duff Goldman’s Halloween Candy for Grownups

Food Network's Duff Goldman shares tips on candy making to help you prepare chocolate truffles to serve at your grownup Halloween party.

Bacon Costume

Learn the basics and advanced cooking techniques from Food Network with how-to advice on everything from cooking or carving a turkey to grilling corn.

What Happens When Princess Leia and Dr. Evil Join Forces — Alton's After-Show

Check out Alton and Simon in their Halloween costumes for tonight's brand-new themed episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.

Aunt Sandy’s Best Halloween Costumes

Cast your fan vote for Sandra Lee’s best-ever Halloween costume.